Do you know what a garlic press is? (When telling this story, I’ve found it is always a good idea to ask.) A garlic press is a device that squeezes a clove of garlic through a grid of tiny holes. Many kitchens have one. This device is hand-operated and made of sturdy metal. You would think it could be put into a dishwasher like any similar utensil.
And that’s true; it can. With this important caveat: you must first take out any adhering garlic fibres, those which remain pressed against the back part of the grid with the holes, or in the holes themselves. The dishwasher will not remove those fibres. They’re too tightly packed against the thing, or something. And during the wash cycle the water will cause the garlic remnants to get all pasty against the metal, and then, when radiant heat bakes the dishes dry, the garlic fibres will be annealed and heat-sealed to the metal until there is virtually no way of getting them off.
My wife was standing over the sink when I came home from yoga the other day. She had the garlic press in one hand and a toothpick with a frayed end in the other. Broken toothpicks littered the counter. She was picking, scraping, and generally scrabbling at the garlic press to remove the etc., etc. She has, in fact, mentioned this garlic-press problem to me before. She looked at me with an expression I have come to call her “death ray."
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